Bringing Back Green FurnitureJanuary 28, 2013
Modern society is currently looking for new ways to achieve a “greener” future. Ideas are being brought up about switching from dirty fossil fuels to clean-burning fuels, anything plastic or metal or glass is being recycled, and even our phones and old electronics are being recycled after they become obsolete. In one particular industry, however, we have slid backwards in “going green” and are actually becoming more wasteful.
The furniture industry hit a big boom along with the new housing boom that started in the 1990s and ended with the dire economic times that peaked in 2007. During this time, “faux” furniture styles were the biggest selling furniture styles. These types of furniture styles were quickly manufactured on an assembly line, had little to no custom adornments, and looked very plain. These plain furniture items were far from the heavy, solid, ornate furniture styles we had seen from the 1600s to the Late 1900s. The faux furniture pieces were quickly built with cheap materials, and put on showrooms for low prices. The only downside to these affordable furniture pieces and sets is that you get what you paid for… Most of these pieces and sets have either broken, been damaged, have scratches, need glues and other hardware, or they simply are ugly and not worth keeping.
For centuries, wooden furniture was held in very high regard. Furniture pieces were built with the heaviest and finest woods, and were made to last centuries with only minimum maintenance. In these olden times, it was not out of the ordinary to have a table, or chair, or bed, or desk in your family for 19 generations. Today, the furniture being built is extremely cheap, and only made to last 5-10 years (If you are lucky). Even if you wanted to save and restore these items, they are made mostly of particle board or medium density fiber board (MDF Board), which is nearly impossible to refurbish, and is not worth the cost.
So, if you and your furniture want to go green, you are left with only one option anymore, and that is to find antique furniture and have it refurbished, and give it the maintenance it needs to last centuries as your descendants pass on these treasures.
Refurbishing and maintaining old pieces of furniture is not as difficult or costly as one might think. As a matter of fact, it is much more affordable than planning on spending $500 – $2000 for new furniture every 5 years. There are so many woodcrafters and artisans around the world that know all too well the points trying to be made by this article: We waste furniture. With their passion for the craft and heritage of real handmade furniture, they will be very inclined to refurbish any antique or solid-built furniture piece you find – at a great rate.
So before you take your furniture shopping to Wal Mart, or Ikea (no, this furniture is not solid-built), try and spend some time looking for a strong piece of furniture that a refurbishing professional can make your own, and plan to simply maintain with light oils and basic adjustments. You will be happy that not only are you making the world greener for your children’s children’s children, but you are also leaving them a family heirloom that they can enjoy for themselves, and may never have to shop at Ikea.This entry was posted in Green Furniture, Refurbished Wood Furniture and tagged furniture ideas, furniture recycling, green furniture, refurbished wood furniture. Bookmark the permalink. ← Are You Sitting on a Treasure? Utah Antique Furniture Restorations The Movers: An Antique’s Worst Nightmare →